The Commission reviews workplace concerns raised by:

  • public service employees about unfair or unreasonable treatment
  • anyone, including members of the public, about actions taken in a public sector organisation that are inconsistent with the values, principles, codes or standards

Unfair or unreasonable treatment

Public service employees may raise concerns about their employment with VPSC generally once they have tried to resolve the matter in their own organisation. They may apply to VPSC for a review of actions in four circumstances:

  • the employer did not conduct an initial review
  • the initial review process was unfair
  • the employer personally took the action or was the primary decision-maker
  • the employee was victimised for previously applying to VPSC for a review

VPSC may decline to conduct a review if the matter lacks substance or if the matter is or could be the subject of a court proceeding.

Actions inconsistent with the values, principles, codes or standards

Anyone may raise concerns about behaviour that is inconsistent with the values and codes of conduct or about decisions that are inconsistent with the employment principles and standards. They may raise their concerns in the first instance with the public sector organisation concerned or with VPSC. They do not need to be personally affected by the behaviours or decisions.

An example of a behaviour that is inconsistent with the values and codes is someone using their public sector position to make decisions that benefit themselves or their friends or family. This is a conflict of interest. It relates to the value of integrity.

An example of an employment decision that is inconsistent with the principles and standards is discriminating against someone because of their race or other protected attribute. This is unlawful discrimination. It relates to the employment principle of providing equal employment opportunity.

VPSC will consider the matters the person has raised and may seek information from the public sector employer concerned. VPSC will inform both parties about its findings and any recommendations for new or changed processes.


Employees may ask their manager to review an employment related decision, such as discipline, that they consider is unfair.

This advice is for people involved in a review of actions in a public service organisation. They include:

  • employees and their representative or support person
  • managers and other decision-makers
  • reviewers who may be employees or other independent contractors


Application to VPSC for a review of actions

In certain circumstances, employees may also ask VPSC to conduct a review. The process is outlined in the Public Administration (Review of Actions) Regulations 2015.

The application form includes a self-assessment to help public service employees decide whether to apply to VPSC for a review of actions.

Review of actions report template

The template outlines the types of information the reviewer will include in a report following a review of actions hearing.